h a l f b a k e r y
Experiencing technical difficulties since 1999
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This isn't so much a product idea as a cultural pressure to get
to actually realise how many steps there actually are between
On many items of equipment, particularly but not at all restricted
audio equipment, there are knobs. Increasingly these days there
digital touch buttons or some other stepwise up-down input means
that makes it easy for the designer, cheap for the manufacturer,
horrible for the user. However, we still have knobs, knobs survive,
and the knob is favoured. There is a particular type of knob that
a numeric scale. There are two ways of doing a numeric scale on a
potentiometer knob. One is to put a pointer mark on the knob
and print a scale of numbers on the equipment casing around the
circumference. The other is to put a scale of numbers around the
knob skirt itself, with a single marker printed on the casing
In the case where the top number is ten, there is often a cultural
temptation to make some remark about it not going up to eleven,
involve that joke in a feeble bit of conversation somehow.
there's a distinct difference in knobs that have their numbers
around the skirt and going up to ten - some start at one, and some
start at zero. Quite obvious to almost nobody it seems, the knobs
that start at zero and end at ten, actually blimmin' well do go up
eleven - they have eleven distinct steps! If it were numbered to go
up to eleven, then there'd be twelve distinct steps - not funny any
more. Hello? Where's the humour? See? Gone.
||Okay, I think I've got this figured out. This is an idea or
concept of some sort right?
||Not really. If I had to extrapolate a go at having an attempt
at classifying my describing of it, I'd probably say
something like, off the top of my head, that it is not so
much an idea, more of a cultural pressure.
||But just listen to the sustain!
||My brain doesn't work beyond simple stuff like "toaster that
can be used as a parachute". That sort of thing.
||What you want, surely, is an amp that goes down to -10, so you can just suck all the other groups' music right out of the air?
||This is a bit like saying that when you are ten years old you have had eleven birthdays, which is true.
||Indeed. A fencepost error.
||Just number the gaps between the numbers, that should sort it out.
||Alternately, replace traditional numbers altogether, adopting instead an alternate non-convention referencing something suitably esoteric.